As marriage equality has been proven victorious in a recent decision by the Iowa State Supreme Court and an major majority vote by the Vermont legislature which overturned a veto by the Governor, another religious right hate group the National Organization for Marriage started to rear its head and put out a commercial citing old cases which have long since been proven inaccurate to stifle the conversation. They also began a campaign Two Million For Marriage (2M4M), which sent Rachel Maddow over the edge of her desk trying to hold back the laughter). Above is a video by Rob Tish which combats the misconceptions presented by NOM's advert.
Meanwhile in the Summit City, a small group gathered on the north side of Fort Wayne @ IPFW on the 17th to commemorate the National Day of Silence with a rally in the afternoon. On the 18th Fort Wayne PRIDE Committee held its 1st all ages PROM. On the 2nd of May United Sexualities of IPFW will be hosting "A Touch Of Pink" Dance Party @ Walb Ballroom starting at 8p with a general admission of $3 and free for IPFW students.
Random Observations: Driving Along Our Three Rivers
I was driving to my secret source for cheap cigarettes this evening and almost hit a jack rabbit that decided to bolt between the Court House and the City County Building. Every time you think Fort Wayne is a bustling metropolitan area you are reminded that no matter how big we get we are still a small farm community town at heart. Even though we have a thriving downtown area that is both dedicated and ready for future expansion to make the Downtown area truly a source of arts, entertainment, culture and diverse expressions, it is also within a fifteen minute bike ride of most of the urban areas of town. Now we just need to make it more accommodating to non vehicular traffic flow as that would improve both the access to and enjoyment by more citizens as a whole.
One of the things I noticed is that the capillary streets like Calhoun between Washington and Jefferson Boulevards should probably have a police officer directing traffic in all lanes as this is the major wrap around for traffic wanting to leave the Embassy Theatre, Grand Wayne Center, and Harrison Square, and head west instead of east. If they simply cut off this one block stretch of Calhoun to southbound traffic as people are leaving these venues and then allowed all three lanes to be used as a wrap around it would reduce congestion after these well attended events.
Room For Dreams But Nowhere To Rest Your Sore Feet
The other recommendations I would give is that as we are becoming more of a pedestrian - non automotive based economy in the Downtown area having a few courtesy officers on duty for out-of-towners and people not familiar with downtown to help guide people to their next destination would be the next appropriate step in improving the Downtown area. We need to establish crossing guards at key side street intersections as people return to their vehicles, which are typically parked a couple of blocks away from the venue they attended.
One of the more refreshing things I saw was that people were just hanging around by the hundreds outside the Grand Wayne and the Embassy Theatre, after the events had ended. We need to do more to install benches and flowers, plants, and fruit trees, along our main thoroughfares and direct arterial streets.
I do agree with City Council President Tom Smith, we need to reestablish a sit down diner or two in the direct area; however we also need to consider, adding City certified street vendor at these locations to provide a quick beverage or sandwich as people linger and enjoy a strangers company or make new friends and reacquaint with olde ones. If the goal is to get people to not just come to the Downtown area but make our inner urban area a lifestyle choice and actually play downtown, we need to be more accommodating to allow people the leisure of staying downtown for several hours after an event and not just saying, "Thanks for coming and spending sixty dollars for a twenty dollar show, now go home where it is safe." by our lack of post event hospitality and recreation opportunities.
Refreshing News; Reminders Of The Little Things
Last week when I was leaving this same secret location I noticed we had a new taxi company in town. The Yellow Taxi Cab Company Phone: 260-422-1010 headquartered off of East Pontiac Street was started approximately 9 months ago which is about the same time that the recession we are currently in hit full swing. So there is yet another sign that no matter how crappy the economy is getting Fort Wayne's entrepreneurial spirit is alive, well, and kicking ass. The reason I bring this up is one thing we seriously lack at most of our entertainment venues, especially the three previously mentioned, is a dedicated taxi lane. Having a dedicated taxi lane and disabled person drop off area and escort service (perfect job duty for the previously mentioned courtesy officers) would better serve guests and people who didn't want to drive to an event personally. On a green note and taxis, the Mayor of Seattle has ordered all taxis in the city to be high mileage hybrids by 2013.
Thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true your a pal and a confidant....
As most have heard or read by now the incomparable Bea Arthur, who weaved her way into the fabric of American social political commentary and back in April 2005 graced the stage of the Scottish Rite Theatre with Billy Goldenberg to perform her show "Just Between Friends", has finally greeted her last curtain call at the age of 86.
She was introduced to America on the small screen back in the 1970's as Maude in All In The Family where she challenged America by discussing the issues surrounding abortion and sexuality. Again she would change the hearts and minds of another generation of gay men young and old everywhere as part of the Golden Girls cast for seven years. If you ever witnessed a group of gay bois try to assign each other to their role of Blanche, Rose, Sophia, and Dorothy, you begin to understand the impact one voice and a woman with strong character can have on the hearts and minds of a generation.
Bea Arthur is within her own lifetime a legacy and in her own right a saint. No worries there is one slice of chocolate cheesecake left at the banquet table for you Dorothy.
Star Wars Holiday Special - Cantina Song
25 April 2009
Signs Of Equality From Iowa 2 Vermont & A Silent Summit City; Fort Wayne: Room For Dreams & Desires To Play Down Town; Remembering Bea Arthur
19 April 2009
Going Green In '09: Will You Come Get Dirty To Make Fort Wayne Clean? Today from 11A-5P @ North Anthony Bridge
Yes We'll Gather @ The River, The Trashy and Winding River. Gather w/ Our Friends @ The River, That Flows From The Heart Of Town!
If you are reading this between 11A-5P you still have the opportunity to get trashy to make Fort Wayne clean. Save Maumee's 4th Annual Earth Day Project is going on along the Pemberton Dyke @ North Anthony Bridge (on the other side of where the sink hole was). There are tasks and opportunities to learn more for all ages. So please put down the Sunday pot roast and fried chicken and come out to clean up Fort Wayne on this Feast of Divine Mercy and end to the Solemn Octave of Easter.
Message From F6's EDITOR: Saturdays post was delayed due to waiting for an information dump in order to provide the most accurate knowledge possible on the scheduled topics in play plus a pastoral duty call that I had to participate in. My apologies.
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15 April 2009
While We The People fondle tea bags w/o loincloths on, Fort Wayne braces for bright lights today as d TINCAPS play Parkview Field for 1st time!
I think the title says most of what is going on right now and I do want to keep this blog post varied but concise. So with that in mind, lets roll back the AstroTurf and lay down on the grass, sip on some tea, instead of licking a politicians balls, and get back to the root cause of the matter, uncontrolled government spending and accountability.
The issue is not who promoted what but how we the people allowed the irresponsible activities in the first place and didn't force a correction 10 or even 20 years ago. Then within the last year, let some of the same people that caused the problems we are in right now, to be back in charge of the same government positions that once regulated the businesses they helped screw up and then allow them to turn around and bailout those businesses with taxpayer money. That is where the disgrace should lay is with We The People who were complacent in times of boom versus bust, who refused to participate in the process, and allowed their say in the matter to be whitewashed through a conservative and liberal media bias, the media did fail us but we let them fail us too.
I will be the first to admit that on some issues I would seem very conservative, and on others very liberal, in fact what I am is an American Traditionalist. I believe that there are certain principles which are inerrant from our Country's legacy and history, no matter how turbulent or controversial.
These attacks against our principles are very easy to overlook and pass aside when they are done in moderate form, even by our own government. They are being done now by lobbyist and the media, they were done previously by Republicans and Democrats as well as the current Administration, because we as a collective people have either failed to be educated or were failed in our education to understand the history of this beautiful Country even within its stains and bruises on other peoples histories and freedom.
Therefore as the proverb goes because we failed to learn we are doomed to repeat the same events until we remember to tell the stories of our forefathers and the lessons we learned to our children once again.
As any recovering addict can tell you, moderation is not always the key to control any habit. In some cases it has to be cut off not just at the source but at the catalyst for the source and activity, and that was the message of the Boston Tea Party and 18 months afterward our Country's Independence from the Sovereign of Great Britian.
On the 16th of December 1773, the Sons of Liberty and other colonists, dressed as Native Americans took over three ships in Boston Harbor and threw the tea from the corrupt East India Company overboard in protest of the unhealthy monopoly granted to it by Parliament as a way of allowing the colonist to get a cheaper tea but at the same pointe pay the tea tax which they despised and thought to be illegal. This of course was the resounding cry of the time "no taxation without representation" and a hallmark of American ethics and law.
(Photo: Joseph Forshaw for One Day Equals PSA
by Steph and Alek of OhLaLa Magazine)
Quick Links: [WIKI] [EYEWITNESS HISTORY]
There are major lessons that can be learned from this and also correlated back to both Federal, State, and even Local Government issues today. Let us first cover the federal issues and then the local issues and I will let all the other bloggers worry about the state level issues for now.
The Historical Aspects Of Parliament:
allowed a major corporation to have a monopoly over a particular trading commodity;
forced 20 new taxes but after revolt by the people repealed all but one...tea...to assert privilege;
instructed said monopoly to reduce the price of commodity drastically but still expects people to pay in full;
got prissy when people refuse shipment and destroy product, forced trading area ceased until restored;
paid the salaries of the local officials rather than the people that they governed;
lowered the local taxes when times got tight but then forced the colonist to pay extra to prove a point;
signed off on a tax cut for the company let it expire and then signed off on it again;
used the tax code & price fixing to eliminate the black market and officials netzero pay balance.
The Application And Principles Of History To Todays Federal Government:
Democrat Admin and Republican Congress repeals 70 year old Glass Stiegel protection against financial monopolies in 1999 which allowed Securities Companies to own Banks and Insurance Companies as well.
Attempted 20 new taxes but kept only one...tabacco... because of childrens health care and because Marboro and others loosing money from people rolling their own cigarettes and or buying cheaper products.
Is going to get pissy when people stop buying cigarettes, and start growing own tabacco, will make it illegal.
Starts to bitch about corporate salaries and bonuses uses clout/tax payers money to assert business control
Supposedly lowered the taxes on the middle class but then raised it on the upper class who own the businesses that provide the services and employment that then causes the middle class to loose their jobs and homes.
Sets there own salaries with tax payer dollars and then throws taxpayer dollars to fix the same problems they caused so the taxpayer begins to depend on their own money, but Congress gets the privellege to do it again.
Using the tax code and price fixing and grant/loan stimulus plan aka taxpayers money to prop up failing companies and dog collar/pork barrel initatives and projects that special interests groups want to happen.
Do I need to continue spelling it out for all the punditry both liberal and conservative?
The connections between what was going on in the 1770's and now is obvious to me anyway.
We have made ONE BIG ASS MISTAKE AMERICA! We have two national automakers General Motors and Chrysler, which have received an unfair advantage over their competition, Ford. Their employees and retirees are loosing benefits they worked twenty years or more for, because first the federal government said they would insure and secure them and now they are saying nope they have to make concessions on that too. Because of all this subsidies and nationalizations, industry leaders, even Honda and Toyota which are made in Greensburg and Princeton Indiana are feeling a crunch along with five other previously solvent companies because we are subsidizing their competition. That is nationalism 101 it has been proven time and again to fail horribly. (Photo: Dan Turkette)
So how do we fix it? What is the solution to the economic collapse/recession that we are in?
1. Stay informed about national state and local legislative, judicial, and administrative actions. HOLD your elected representatives accountable and don't let them get away with taking away your rights and voice.
Watch this video from the Jon Stewart's Daily Show on Comedy Central last night whose guest is Elizabeth Warren the head of the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP. She outlines the fact that of the original 350 billion, released by the Treasury Secretary Paulson, (who was the former head of Goldman Sachs before becoming Bush's Treasury Secretary and his predecessor who was Clinton's Treasury Secretary also), actually only collected originally 66% on the dollar of assets for troubled institutions, which has now further depreciated in value giving away 78 billion dollars plus the continued depreciation of value, without any possibility of recouping the loss.
2. One of the biggest issues that caused the original tea party in 1773 and today is a failure in some peoples thought of a bloated legislature that is out of touch with the people they represent and levy taxes against. Currently each Congressional District covers on average 693,000 men, women, and children as of 2007.
In 1911, the number of Congressional Districts had risen to 435 and the House was becoming impossible to manage every ten years. It was decided to cap the total number of districts at that point and to instead reapportion them with each census so that they were roughly equal in size as the population grew and shifted. There are currently seven states that only have one Representative in the House: Vermont, Delaware, both Dakotas, Montana, Alaska, and Wyoming. Even back in May 2001, Representative Alcee Hastings (Florida 23rd) wrote a Dear Collegue letter to all the members of Congress, House of Representatives? Hardly!, in which he stated:
In the past 90 years, the U.S. has become the second most underrepresented democracy in the entire world, but the size of the House of Representatives has remained the same. In the past 90 years, U.S. population has more than tripled, but the size of the House of Representatives has remained the same.....The effect that an increase in the size of the House of Representatives will have on the American political system is obvious. Increasing the size of the House will result in a reduced amount of campaign spending, smaller Congressional districts, more personal interaction between Members of Congress and their constituents, and most importantly, better representation for the American people. (Fair Vote)It is time for us as the American people to bring back the first amendment to the Constitution, which was never ratified by the States at the time the other ten were, with some revision of course, as the original platform [Text: Early America] would mean that we would have over six thousand people in Congress. Adjusting the Congressional Districts now after just under a hundred years of the current system would:
1. Revise the appropriations of Congress from 435 to 761 or 75% increase in the Congressional Districts
2. Relocate the expanded Congress into two new Federal Districts in Denver and Philadelphia. You could either leave the Senators in Washington D.C. or put Juniors in Denver and Seniors in Philadelphia. This would also allow for a smoother transition of power if we were ever attacked because Congress is responsible for the transition of executive powers, the formation of the Army, they are the only ones who can declare war.
3. This adjustment would then allow the federal budget to be restricted to a certain amount per Congressional District as the numbers would be locked in at approximately 500 thousand in ten years time and an additional stipend per State that has to be agreed on by both Senators thereby reducing the amount of clout gained or chaos effected by just one member of Congress, and the federal budget might actual be balanced regularly, the national debts paid off quicker.
4. To control spending and income by District is essential; because otherwise, there is no accountability for extra resources being used by one part of the Country over another. In essence if District 421 generates 5 billion dollars in tax revenue but only uses 3 billion in Federal Tax Dollars, which isn't necessarily a bad thing just and issue of accountability, a. Congress would then have to validate why they are keeping 2 billion dollars of tax revenue to the constituents of District 421 or b. their Representative might get removed from office in two years for not maintaining transparency or accountability to his/her constituents.
5. By increasing the members and restricting the spending the process is opened up for all to have equal access to information and everyone is receiving a minimum amount of resources and any additional spending per district has to be brought out into the light of day rather than being peddled behind closed doors and private parties or lobbying efforts.
6. By forcing the Senators from each State to agree on their stipend budget spending, equal to that of two Congressional Districts, restores the original principles of their role as representatives of the State not just the people. There can also be a provision that any stipend earmarked by the Senators of each State must have an effect on a certain portion of the state 25%-66%, etc. so that way everyone is effected equally by their representation and advocacy.
It ultimately comes down to a question of, "Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How Much?"
There are some other things that can be done specifically by the earmark process (not all earmarks are bad) and the Truth in Legislation laws and the One Item per Bill laws and the Simplified Language laws that have watch dog groups with their loincloths crawling up their posteriors can start to readjust the process. But the main issue is that Congress was never intended to be either a. a life long career path or b. a place of secrecy and back room deals.
We have allowed Congress to become a Leviathan of a creature when in fact it was suppose to be more of a pack of squirrels storing up and then dispersing our nuts between all the different knot holes.
Sorry that was a horrible tea bag pun.
That way We The People can still see them at work but at the same time not have to know everything right away, just every three months or so. We have allowed Congress to become corrupt and it is our duty as a people to correct it. Please contact your State Legislator today and ask them to start the process of forcing a Federal Constitutional Amendment to readjust Congress to serve the people and save the Country we all love. Call your Congressional Representative and ask them to have the 1911 Appropriation Act revised and updated.
That is enough about Federal Government and National Politics lets get to the more local stuff....
I've covered the Harrison Square debacle several times over, and every time I switch hands it does grow another inch, in the level of bad decisions and legal twists made by the developers of this project. The latest of course is the Courtyard by Marriott hotel which has been stalled for almost a year now due to White Lodgings inability to acquire financing and the Henry Administrations refusal to hold contract deadline requirements and fines against the developer, not to forget to mention that the requirements of the contracts have been side stepped almost every pivotal moment in the process.
The latest fiasco came up because another developer out of Valparaiso wants to build a 6 million dollar, 89 room, 4 story Towneplace Suites by Marriott extended stay hotel at the pending ICE CUBE, another regional sports arena, on the north side of town by Glenbrook Mall. This turn of events is being protested heavily by Linda Skaggs of the Northeast Indiana Hospitality Association as it would reduce the business at surrounding crappy and mid-level hotels in the same area.
But the fact of the matter remains that they were able to get financing but yet White Lodging is still stalling on its requirements which are way overdue. When is City Council going to force this issue to go ahead or get our money back and go with someone else that actually plays ball and keep their promises?
...back to the local teabag parties for just a moment....
The LPAC Annual Income Tax Protest @ Main Post Office had approximately 7 people show yesterday. The tea party in Huntington had hundreds show up. Hoosiers For Fair Tax will be hosting a Tea Party at the Allen County Courthouse on Saturday the 18th of April from 11A-1P. Former Ambassador and frequent candidate for POTUSA, Alan Keyes will be the guest of honour. There will be a reception in his honour from 6-9P @ Don Halls Guest House with a donation of $10 or dinner @ 7:30P for $30 a plate.
<=====STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO=====>
F6 EDITOR: FOLLOW UP ON LOCAL INFORMATION/REPORTS COVERED
TEA PARTY COVERAGE:
hundreds showed up on Saturday; Keyes made points but rambled
18 April FTWP [Tea Party Thoughts] [Tea Party Photos]
17 April FTWN Letter by Ric Runestad
HARRISON SQUARE HOTEL:
50% of financing secured supposedly by White Lodging
18 April WGDT Beyond The Field Of Play
16 April FTWP More Self-Serving Tripe From Hardball Capital
13 April FTWP Hoocoodanode? The Harrison Square Edition
TIN CAPS 1ST HOME GAME:
16K attend 3 game series, parking issues, positive feedback, awesome pictures
21 April FTWN NO Privacy @ Parkview Field
21 April BIFW Padres Brass Thoughts on TinCaps, Parkview Field
19 April AFWB [TIN CAPS 10-0] [Parkview Field Opening Day]
18 April BIFW At 8-0, TinCaps Are 1 of 3 MiLB Unbeaten
16 April BIFW Gallery from Opening Night at Parkview Field
15 April BIFW Kyle Day Comes Home to Christen Parkview Field
16 April WGDT Tin Caps Extend Win Streak To 7 In Opener
15 April WGDT [847 Days] [TinCaps Games To Be On Comcast Digital Cable]
15 April AFWB TinCaps home games live on Comcast!
WGDT What's Going Down, Town? by The Spaulding Brothers
FTWP Fort Wayne Politics by Jeff Pruitt and Mike Sylvester
FTWN Fort Wayne News by Daniel Turkette
AFWB Around Fort Wayne Blog by Stephen Parker
BIFW Baseball In Fort Wayne by Chad Gramling
13 April 2009
DADT: Gates wants to add 2.8K Special Forces and Employ 50K+ civilians but not protect the GLBT Service Members already sacrificing everything for US?
Gays and Lesbians are not people you can just "kick down the road" like a can of tuna in a street game of roller hockey, without expecting some sort of backlash.
Before his big budget announcement, Secretary Robert Gates stated "The President and I feel like we've got a lot on our plates right now and let's push that one down the road a little bit.", in an interview two Sundays ago with Fox News regarding "Dont Ask Dont Tell", which bars service members from proclaiming their sexual orientation and commanding officers from asking about it. However, the policy states that if it becomes known that a service member is gay, he or she is to be removed from the military. He went on to say, "the Pentagon will continue to enforce the existing policy...It continues to be the law and any change in policy would require a change in the law....We will follow the law, whatever it is." He also revealled that within the Administration "That dialogue, though, has really not progressed very far at this point in the administration."
(Source: Fox News)
Sadly, as I stated before, the Obama Administration is going to wait for the Supreme Court (Major Margaret Witt) and Congress to fight it out rather than getting involved and using up what little political capital they have left with the American public. Some in Congress stated back in 2008 that they wouldnt deal with the repeal of DADT until 2010, according to a report by QUEERTY, even though there is already legislation, that was reintroduced in the beginning of March. The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (HR1283), authored by Representative Ellen Tauscher (pic to right) of California's 10th District , with 137 cosponsors, is making its way through the Congressional process. The MREA after a month is currently held up in the House Armed Services sub committee on Military Personel. You may contact the 60 members of the main Committee individually, especially if they are in your District, and ask them to expedite this legislation through the process for the sake of all our men and women in uniform.
We have an estimated 65 thousand serving in silence and suffering the worst form of inequality and sacrificing their integrity and honour to assure our freedom and liberty. Another three thousand per year decide not to reenlist or enlist because of the discriminatory policy. The Congress is allowing the removal of 2 Service Members on average per day to be removed from their post for no longer living a lie. We owe them so much more than any talking pointes can conceive or contrive.
Meanwhile Democrats and Republicans are quibbling over whether or not the new Defense budget that is a 4% budget increase instead of a 15% increase, is in fact a cut or a 21 billion dollar increase in spending. Two weeks later the pundits, Congress, and military industrial lobbyist, are rambling on with no end in sight, as they try to save their pet projects in the budget proposal. Or the other distraction caused by Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma, whom while standing in the middle of one of our airbases in Afghanistan, claimed that the new budget and Secretary Gates is "gutting the military". When in fact, as outlined by CNN's Rick Sanchez (video) place, Senator Inhoffe is actually upset over a military factory in his home state loosing a contract because the plan would discontinue the production of the controversial decade old faulty designed and 87 billion dollar budgeted Future Combat System's vehicle component. Along with other pundits bitching about the discontinuation of the F22 fighter jets and switching the force over to F35 Joint Strategic Air Ships
The Secretary's announced budget besides, the detail of a 28 hundred troop increase Helicopter Crews and Maintenance and in Special Forces Combat Units and switching the 50 thousands in previous held Defense Department positions by independent contractors to actual government employees and civil service agents, also increases the Cyber Squadron from 80 to 250 students per year as of 2011, and immediately stops the reduction of forces in the Air Force and Navy. His budget also proposes to maintain planned increase Army Brigade Combat Teams strength to 547 thousand personnel and eliminate use of stop loss to maintain battle readiness.
Before we add all those people to the ranks, would it not be a good idea to have them all on equal footing?
I am tired of reading the horror stories of this failed policy in enlistment processes and everyday life.
It would also be easier to call people back whom have already left the service, either because of or as a result of DADT, and who decided to come out in their personal life only to be kicked out a second time under DADT when you call them back in to fill in the gaps, which has happened on 20 separate occasions that I am personally aware of.
You have 35 thousand people at a minimum who are willing to serve whom you removed from their Civic Duty, usually based on rumors, false accusations, and the United States Military's refusal to actually make a legitimate argument regarding us queers serving with honour or from being harassed within the scope of personal, religious, and political, biases or prejudices.
We have one more option to change this bastard child of a federal law, described by Aubrey Sarvis the Executive Director of the SLDN, whom asserted the the following on FRONTLINES:
Mr. President, if I may address you directly, you've got another situation looming ahead that also should come as no surprise. It is not the same order of magnitude as the global financial meltdown, but like that meltdown it is predictable and it has the potential to be exploited for political gain -- not your political gain but your opponents'.The principle, the truth, is self evident, Congress, and Mr. President, "All Men Are Created Equal". Allow us queers the ability to serve our country openly as equals. After all, we have already been there and are currently on the front lines and are treated as less than equal even after having given twice as much, including our partners and our children, whom aren't able to receive the same support an unmarried mother of three children, each of different fathers, would receive.
In five weeks the House Armed Services Committee will begin hearings on your Defense Department budget for 2010. Senate hearings will follow. You have a choice. You can take the lead and put language calling for repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the legislative budget -- or you can wait until your opponents bring it up. The opposition, which may be loud and ugly, will be out to ambush you, Mr. President. Alarmingly, there have been no signs that your administration is prepared for that.
F6 Editorial Policy Statement
F6 has several resources and commentaries regarding GAYS IN THE MILITARY. As an issue of editorial policy, F6 will challenge any assertion that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is either Constitutional or proper policy in our great country, the land of the free and the home of the brave, especially in a place where all men are created equal!
04 April 2009
In Like A Lion Or Out Like A Lamb? Analysis Of Government Mandates: The Conversion To Digital Television == Came And Went! == And Will Come Again?
With Holy Week just around the corner I thought we would do a story not previously covered on F6 as I attempt to get back into the swing of things. I want to also take a moment and thank my loyal readers and new readers for bearing with me as I recovered from another health scare.
When the 17th of February rolled around people were still scurrying around looking for better deals on a digital converter box. All the money for the 2 forty dollar coupons from the Federal Government dried up and Politicians were whining about the fact that 6.5 million Americans were not ready for the elimination of the traditional analog signal.
As the nation was preparing to be assimilated into the digital age, Congress passed legislation giving the analog service a four month reprieve in its termination. In doing so our Legislative Branch put the entire industry into shambles, as some stations and networks decided to cease analog operations due to budget constraints and others still are not ready to transfer over to only digital signals. The Public Broadcasting Service was afraid it would loose up to 22 million dollars over the course of the delay because people would not be annoyed by their pledge drives every 90 minutes for two weeks in a row every two months, and now incorporated into the show segments as a commercial. But at the same pointe they were one of the first to flip over to the digital transmitter locally.
Robert Enders stated, "The same companies that sold us TV’s that would quit working two years after we bought them are now selling us the boxes that are supposed to make them work again."
Here is a brief history:
1986: Broadcasters pitch HDTV prevents 1/3 airwaves allocation to public safety.
1990: HDTV is developed in the 1990’s. Everybody is excited.
1995: Digitized video allowed for 6x the amount of stuff into the same channel.
1996: Telecom Act was amended changing the fixed 2006 to 85% compliance.
Government gives away billions of dollars worth of spectrum to the networks
1998: Congress decides that analog signals should continue for 10 years.
Analog airwaves were sold @ auction to Verizon and AT&T for @ $19.2 billion.
2007: Even after the March deadline We kept buying Analog Tuned Televisions
The FCC even tried to protect consumers and provide information two years ago.
As of the 1st of March, 2007, all television receivers shipped in interstate commerce or imported into the United States must contain a digital tuner. In addition, effective 25th of May, 2007, the FCC required sellers of television receiving equipment that does not include a digital tuner to disclose at the point-of-sale that such devices include only an analog tuner, and therefore will require a digital-to-analog converter box to receive over-the-air broadcast television after the transition date. Retailers must inform consumers by prominently displaying the following text if they are selling TV equipment with only an analog tuner:
This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation’s transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission’s digital television website at: www.dtv.gov.The addendum to Robert's statement above would be, That is how business is suppose to work, Society fosters a need and then said companies fulfill it; however due to manufacturing obsolescence and noted depreciation of time, the resolution while annoying, bring some to label this whole scenario, which is not the case, as consumer fraud.
For instance, As someone who has a long history of driving several Buick Le Sabre Sedans, I know that the steering column is going to fall apart by the time it reaches 165-180 thousand miles driven. I know that at 225,000 miles the car will roll over and die a horrible death shortly. The company knows this will happen too before the car leaves the plant. Is this fraud? No, it is manufacturer obsolescence.
The correction cost 150 dollars and involves taking the steering column apart applying a bonding agent to the three bolts and nuts, reattaching the assembly, and putting the car back in alignment. Fortunately my mechanic, Ward Stevens' Automotive @ 420 Glenn Avenue @ North Clinton Street Phone: 260-483-0642 (across from Rainbow Palace), didn't charge me for the alignment just the parts, initial work, and labor cost. So just like a $40 converter box to adjust for a three year old television, that originally cost half of the normal purchase price because they were just trying to get rid of them, one still invests in the car as well and deals with the small stuff, plus now you can find some awesome large screen steal prices at local garage/yard sales.
Even though I purchased the older car for $4,000 and I know what will happen to it throughout its remaining time of ownership, I just wish they would give us a manual the first time around for things to expect rather than finding out later it would a. help us budget out resources better and b. not have an angry consumer base when the incidents occur. It would also help the stupid people in this world if they would make you sign a disclaimer form saying that you read the caveat before your purchase was completed for more recent investments; but for those of us who have televisions that are 10-25 years old, this still wouldn't have helped, but it would be a starting pointe.
So where does all this Conversion to Digital Channels take us locally?
Well out of the 7 original broadcast channels in this area: three have switched completely over to digital; one is simulcasting on both digital and analog; and three, remain on an analog signal, for a total of 15 channels so far:
WANE 15 CBS = Simulcasting with 1 extra digital channel for Weather Radar
WPTA 21 ABC/INC = Conversion with 2 additional DCs CW Network, and Viper HD Radar
WISE 33 NBC /INC = Conversion with 2 additional DCs My Network Tv, and INC NOW
WFWA 39 PBS = Conversion with 3 additional DCs PBS Kids, Create, and News & Commentary
WINM 43 TCT = Analog will not convert until the 12th of June
W??? 45 3ABN = Analog or not able to receive signal
WFFT 55 FOX = Analog currently in phase two of three of construction of digital transmitter
Between the 16th of April through the 12th of June this will change, as the remaining 2/3 of local Broadcast Stations across the Nation are allowed to begin the Second Conversion to Digital Television, at any pointe.
There have already been some positive announcements from WFFT FOX 55 that they are actually going to be hosting a news broadcast in the late evening finally, as it was previously restricted back in the late 70's early 80's when they first came on the scene, in order to appease the other three mainstream affiliates. There is another rumor floating around that they will either do a noon broadcast, either in tandem to or in place of the 10P broadcast, but that has not been confirmed. They have hired 25 years plus, veteran news anchor Jim Blue, who most recently covered the news in Toledo, Ohio, to head the Newsroom and take WFFT into the next era of journalism and community coverage, beginning this month sometime. Now if they will just add a few more features to their line up of channels all will be well. [Hat Tip: Mitch Harper @ FWOB]
And that then leads us to the rub the other direction. The Networks of Indiana News Center, which operates the ABC and NBC affiliates, has gotten to plump for their own feathers and good taste. They need to streamline their channels back a bit in my opinion. They have some of the most handsome (sexy and well educated) reporters but the news anchors seem to trip over each other and put me to sleep or piss me off depending on which bias filter the particular anchor is using in their commentary or quips on the air.
The few times I have tried to watch their INC Now channel or My Network TV channel especially at night it has just been a rehash of all the previous news broadcast on an two hour loop for six hours or nothing but infomercials. Put on TV Land, or replay USA, or even MSNBC Network shows from earlier that evening. Create a Reporter Notebook or Commentary Panel or Segment Show by local reporters (not just your stations but everyone), but for goodness sake do something fresh and new. There is a lot of local talent that could be fostered and INC has the potential to do wonders for political and social discourse and community development on the additional channels. It is time for Fort Wayne to return back to its roots as a Production House City of Record and yet y'all are just squandering it on old news and which weather radar is better.
I want to know what y'all think. There are three questions at the end of this post please leave comments below or email them to me, and I will forward them along. I would also like to see the Public Access Channels to be broadcast out for those of us that don't have cable. I probably have more to add to this in a couple of days so check back on Wednesday!
Links: Government Websites [FCC] [DTV]
Cited: Fort Wayne Politics [10Jan09] [27Jan09]
Remember to also check out the Calendar Overview from March-May for some really awesome events this month and next. Just scroll down to the picture of the Old Fort on the right and continue to read from there. Finally, in honour of Holy Week, whom ever thought a lamb could look so adorable laying down with a lion? Photo: Model, Adam Phebus, by Jeremy Kost
- How has the Conversion to Digital Television gone so far for you?
- What do you think of the local Fox affiliate finally adding a news broadcast?
- What improvements would you suggest to the local television stations?